Liverpool at Newcastle Team News: Klopp, Lovren, Krafth, LeJeune

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Ahead of Liverpool FC’s final match of the season, at Newcastle United, the main storyline is manager Jurgen Klopp and his current row with Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. The Blues boss had this to say after his side was beaten 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday night:

“There’s a fine line between winning and when you’ve won the league. Don’t get too arrogant with it.” Lampard had seen his team roar back from a 4-1 deficit to get the margin down to only one goal, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored late, and put the game out of reach.

Then, immediately after the game, Liverpool began their trophy lift celebration of winning the league this year. So there was all kinds of emotion hitting Lampard at that time, and you can understand why he shot his mouth off like that.

Klopp responded: “You cannot hit me with something like that and my bench because we are not arrogant. Frank was obviously in a really competitive mood. I respect that a lot. You can pretty much, from my point of view, say, in a situation like this, what you want. For me, when it is after the game, it is completely over. I have said a lot in the past because it is pure emotion. We are really involved.”

“He came here to win the game or to get a point to get Champions League qualification. I respect that a lot. What he has to learn is to finish it with the final whistle and he didn’t do that.”

“Speaking afterwards like this, that is not OK. Frank has to learn. He has a lot of time to learn because he is a young coach but that he has to learn.”

“We are not arrogant. We are pretty much the opposite of arrogant. In a moment like this, how it is with all arguments, if you say something you want to hurt the other person. No problem with that, but after the final whistle close the book. He didn’t do that and that is what I don’t like.”

Lampard has since walked his comments back a bit.

“I’ve seen the video and I was obviously there,” the Blues boss said on Friday.

“In terms of the language I used, I do regret that because these things get replayed a lot on social media. I’ve got two young daughters who are on social media so I regret that. In terms of regretting having passion to defend my team – no. I could have maybe handled it slightly differently to keep that language in.”

“I would have had a beer with Jurgen Klopp after the game and toasted what a performance they’ve done this year.”

“But there were things on the line that I didn’t like from their bench – not Jurgen Klopp but the people behind him – which I felt crossed the line. That’s what got me agitated but it’s done. Emotions run high amongst most managers, fans and players. I regret the language and we move on.”

Look for the Chelsea-Liverpool rivalry to really get heated up again next season. As for the rest of the team news in this one, LFC captain Jordan Henderson, newly minted FWA Player of the Year, is out for the year. Ditto for Joel Matip.

As for Newcastle, the main story of their season has been injury issues. Emil Krafth (ankle), Issac Hayden, Sean Longstaff and Florian Lejeune (all thigh) all face late fitness tests. Fabian Schaar and Jamall Lasceles are out.

Championship Sunday FYIs

Kickoff: Sunday 26 July 4pm BST, St. James Park

Liverpool starting XI prediction: go to this link

Odds: Newcastle: 13/2, Draw: 15/4, Liverpool: 2/5

Prediction: Liverpool 2, Newcastle 1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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